News / Asia

Cebu Island Struggles to Recover From Typhoon's Direct Hit

Aid Just Reaching Hard-Hit Philippines Islandsi
X
November 15, 2013 5:41 PM
Central Philippines island of Cebu was in direct path of Haiyan and is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
VIDEO: Central Philippines island of Cebu, which was directly in Haiyan's path, is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
In the Philippines, much of the world's attention has focused on the devastated city Tacloban where authorities have struggled to deliver aid to tens of thousands of homeless residents.

But scores of smaller towns across the country's central islands are only just being reached by aid workers a week after Typhoon Haiyan. Among them: Daanbantayan on Cebu island's northern tip, which was in the storm’s direct path.

At one aid station, fledgling attempts are made to transform frustration and confusion into organization as food, water and other necessities trickle into coastal villages directly hit by winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour.
 
Francisco Oswa, his wife and their five children rode out the storm at his mother’s sturdier house next door.

“The roofs all flew off. Our neighbors’ homes collapsed. Then our house was destroyed," she explained through an interpreter. "We’re poor people, we need help here. We are out of food." 

While Cebu’s physical devastation is enormous, its remarkably low human death toll is being attributed to most people heeding the mandatory evacuation notices. But figuring out where to shelter more than 20,000 households is now the latest challenge for Dann Andrio, operations officer on assignment from the national interior department.

“What we really need is temporary shelters," he said. "A big help would be the used tarpaulins or big mats or any kind of plastic material that can sustain at least a day or so, especially because Philippines is a tropical country. We’re expecting not just summer, but also rainy season, rainy days.”
 
Under a blazing sun, children cluster by the roadside pleading hunger, and a fortunate few receive handouts. But some officials dismiss their pleas as the exploits of perennially impoverished parents seeking to capitalize on the sympathies of foreign aid workers.

But for most families in Cebu, it has long been a hand-to-mouth existence, even when not contending with the destruction wrought by one of the world’s most powerful storms.

  • A girl returns home after getting water, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A volunteer in a passing car hands out water to typhoon victims, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children wait on roadsides to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A damaged church in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children play on limbs of a fallen tree in front of their destroyed home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A home that was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A group of people, mostly seniors, waits for relief supplies in the blazing sun, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A family in front of their damaged home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Limbs from downed trees are piled up in a severely damaged village in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo: Steve Herman / VOA)
  • A view of the damage in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid